Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation Themes

Joseph Ellis
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History

The Adams-Jefferson correspondence in particular raises the question of whether history should be written as experienced or remembered. Jefferson's role as the author of the Declaration of Independence became the canon of U.S. history, and Adams was only partially able to get his experience into the record, which suggested a far more complex origin to the document and more limited role for the drafter. Similarly, the diverging versions told by their seconds of what happened at Weehawken, NJ, between Hamilton and Burr, was decided in favor of the loser of the duel and entered the official history. Ellis displays a superior, more critical and thoughtful way of approaching history throughout this book.

Ideology

Strict ideology — that the inalienable human rights had to be defended to the death — marked the Spirit of '76, as the revolutionaries rallied around the determined John Adams rather than the compromising...

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This section contains 348 words
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Buy the Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation Study Guide
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